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Most people consume vegetables to reap the nutritional benefits.  While most vegetables are better raw, there are a few you should cook instead. Cooking releases nutrients that your body can more easily absorb.  Here are a few vegetables you may want to cook before you consume them.

  • Asparagus.  This springtime vegetable is full of cancer-fighting vitamins A, C and E.  Cooking asparagus  increases it levels of phenolic acid, which is associated with reduced risk of cancer.  Drizzle asparagus with olive oil and enjoy!
  • Carrots.  Our bodies seem to use more easily the beta carotene in cooked carrots than in raw ones.  Cut into rounds, steam, and serve with a little honey or cinnamon.
  • Mushrooms.  Microwaving or grilling can increase antioxidant activity.  After heating them up, slice and add to a salad or sauté and add to an omelet.
  • Tomatoes.  Lycopene is better absorbed when the food item is heated up. This may protect against cancer and heart disease.  Slow roasted in the oven at 200 degrees and added to a sandwich sounds delicious.
  • Spinach.  Oxalic acid may block the absorption of calcium and iron from raw spinach.  Heat is known to break it down.  Blanch spinach and served under grilled fish with salsa. 

Written by  Beth Stefura, OSU Extension Educator, Mahoning County, stefura.2@osu.edu

Reviewed by  Margaret Jenkins, OSU Extension Educator, Clermont County, jenkins.188@osu.edu

References:

https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/30983210/

https://www.webmd.com/diet/ss/slideshow-raw-cooked-veggie

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Sunshine, warm weather and spring rain usher in a new growing season for our local farmers. It won’t be long until we see the products of their efforts at a local farmer’s market.

Early markets will be opening up in the next few weeks. You can expect to see early crops such as asparagus, rhubarb aRedLentilRhubarbSoupnd maple syrup. As we get into May, there will be more of the greens showing up – kale, collards, and mustard greens. Check out the Ohio Farm Bureau’s OUR OHIO website for more information about fruits and vegetables in season, http://ourohio.org/food/whats-in-season. And, try this recipe for Red Lentil and Rhubarb Soup, http://ourohio.org/food/recipes/532/red-lentil-and-rhubarb-soup.

Written by: Linnette Goard, Field Specialist, Food Safety, Selection and Management, Family and Consumer Sciences, Ohio State University Extension, goard.1@osu.edu.

Reviewed by: Kathy Green, Extension Educator, Family and Consumer Sciences, Ohio State University Extension, Butler County, Miami Valley EERA.

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